U.S. EPA settles with Southern California firms over lead-based paint hazards
LOS ANGELES – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced five lead-based paint enforcement actions—for a combined total of over $64,000 in settlements—in Southern California. These companies failed to comply with federal regulations requiring them to protect workers and the public from exposure to lead.
“Reducing childhood lead exposure and addressing associated health impacts is a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “These settlements protect Southern California communities by ensuring that lead paint rules and regulations are followed.”
EPA settled with the following companies for violations of the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):
Pacific Home Remodeling Inc. (Los Angeles, Calif.): The company performed renovation work without EPA certification and without ensuring that the individuals doing the work were certified. These certification requirements protect and train workers to implement practices to protect residents from possible exposure to lead-based paint. Pacific Home Remodeling also did not contain waste from renovation activities and did not retain proper records, such as those ensuring that a certified renovator performed on-the-job training for workers and performed post-renovation cleaning verification. The firm agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty.
Hartman Baldwin Inc. (Claremont, Calif.): The company failed to renew its EPA certification to do renovation work between 2015 and 2019. Hartman Baldwin also failed to post warning signs indicating the potential dangers present and did not retain proper records. The firm agreed to pay a $12,897 civil penalty.
Create RE Inc. (El Segundo, Calif.): The company performed renovation work without EPA certification, did not clean the work area of dust, debris and residue, and lacked the proper records demonstrating compliance with lead-safe work practices. The firm agreed to pay a $5,135 civil penalty.
Ameko APS Inc. (Pomona, Calif.): The company performed renovation work without EPA certification and failed to retain proper records. In addition, Ameko failed to provide clients with the “Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools” brochure about lead-safe work practices. The firm agreed to pay a $9,000 civil penalty.
EPA settled with McNamara Realty (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) for $32,000 for over 100 violations of TSCA’s Disclosure Rule. The company, among other things, failed to distribute the federal “Protect Your Family from Lead in your Home” brochure, provide lead warning statements, or disclose the potential presence of lead-based paint hazards.
In addition to the penalties, each company has made corrections to its operations, including becoming EPA-certified if not already certified.
Lead exposure can cause a range of negative health impacts and is particularly dangerous for young children because their nervous systems are still developing. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-based paint; however, it is still present in millions of older homes, sometimes under layers of new paint.
The Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule was created to protect the public (especially children under 6) from lead-based paint hazards that occur during repair or remodeling activities in homes and child-occupied facilities built before 1978. The rule requires individuals performing residential renovations be properly trained, certified and follow lead-safe work practices.
The Disclosure Rule requires landlords, property managers, real estate agents, and others who sell or rent houses built before 1978 to provide known information on the presence of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards to buyers or tenants.
Learn about the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule and program: https://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program
Learn about certification and training requirements for renovation firms: https://www.epa.gov/lead/renovation-repair-and-painting-program-contractors
Learn about the Disclosure Rule: https://www.epa.gov/lead/real-estate-disclosure
Report a lead-based paint violation: https://www.epa.gov/lead/pacific-southwest-lead-based-paint-tips-complaints
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